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Obtain a Residence Permit in Cayman Islands

Obtain a Residence Permit in Cayman Islands

Investors who are interested in opening a Cayman Islands exempted company may also be inquiring about long-term stays in the country. Residing permanently in the Islands is possible for those individuals who have been residents for eight years or those who apply for the permanent residence as a person of independent means. The latter is a common manner in which investors may choose to stay in the country long-term. If you wish to apply for permanent resident status in 2024, provided that you fulfill the minimum lawful residence requirement starting this year, our team can help answer your questions.

 Quick Facts  
 Temporary residence permit types

For:

– work,

– business staff,

– business visitor,

– student,

– person of independent means,

– permanent residence 

 Time needed to obtain the temporary residence permit (approx.)

3 months for the temporary residence permit for work purposes 

 Temporary residence permit validity

5 years in most cases for those who obtain a residence permit in Cayman Islands for work purposes 

 Documents for obtaining temporary residence

 – proof of employment or sufficient means,

– proof of meeting the minimum language requirements,

– medical documents,

– identification documents, etc.

 Mandatory registrations with state authorities (i.e. with the population/municipality register)

Yes 

 Dependents can join the temporary permit holder (Yes/No)

Yes, subject to additional conditions 

 Temporary or permanent residency for investment purposes

Temporary or permanent residence is not awarded specifically for investment purposes, but permanent residence is granted to persons of independent means or retirees (subject to conditions). 

 Type of investments available for residency purposes

Not applicable 

Minimum investment amount

No minimum investment required, however, for the persons of independent means, an annual permanent resident fee applies, equivalent to the one payable by an employee that engages in the same occupation. 

 Minimum temporary residence before applying for permanent residence  8 years
 Residency for individuals married to a citizen of the country

 The spouse of a Cayman Islands citizen can apply for the right to be a Caymanian.

 Documents for obtaining permanent residence

– proof of lawful residence for the minimum period,

– favourable assessment according to the points system,

– application filing fee 

 Naturalization requirements

You need to observe the points system which focuses on nine factors, among which:

– occupation,

– local investments,

– financial stability,

– Cayman Islands history and culture knowledge, etc. 

 Citizenship after permanent residence

 As per the rules for British Overseas Territories Citizenship

Dual citizenship permitted (Yes/No) Yes 

Below, our agents who specialize in Cayman Islands incorporation answer some of the questions regarding permanent residence and obtaining the permit.

What are the residence options for investors in the Cayman Islands in 2024?

Private investors or senior executives can obtain permanent residence in the Cayman Islands in one of the following ways:

  1. Residency for Persons of Independent Means: for investors who wish to reside in the country without working, based on minimum investment and meeting certain financial requirements.
  2. Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means: for those who invest at least two million CI$ in developed real estate.
  3. Certificate of Direct Investment: for those who invest a certain amount in a licensed business that generates employment and who will occupy a management and control function.
  4. Residency Certificate for Substantial Business Presence: for those who invest or who occupy a senior management position within an approved category of business.

Applicants who obtain the Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means and the Residency Certificate for Substantial Business Presence shall be granted a certificate that is valid for 25 years and can be renewed. Investors should be well aware of the conditions for setting up a company in the Cayman Islands that will comply with the current requirements for being awarded these types of permits. 

An alternative to making substantial investments is to obtain a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate, a Residency Certificate for Retirees or a Dependant’s Certificate for Direct Investment. One of our agents can detail these options.

The Department of Immigration is the one that processes the applications for residence and permanent residence certificates.

What is the permanent residence points system?

Applications for permanent residence are submitted under a Permanent Residency Points System, which is provided for in the Immigration (Amendment) Regulations. Individuals receive 15 points (maximum) irrespective of their occupation and they can also be evaluated according to the following: education, training and experience, local investment and financial stability, community integration, history and culture test, close Caymanian connections, age distribution and others (health issues, criminal convictions, etc.).

We highly encourage those who wish to apply to reach out to our agents before they start the procedures. We can help with complete information on the current requirements and possible limitations or changes in the procedure. If you cannot be present in the country, our team can help you sort different issues through a power of attorney.

Cayman Islands residency by property investment

You can obtain Cayman Islands permanent residency through property investment. This option requires individuals to reside in the Cayman Islands for a minimum of one day per year. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old, in good health, have adequate insurance coverage, and have no serious criminal convictions.

Additionally, you must invest a minimum of CI$2M/US$2,4M in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands and have enough financial resources to sustain yourself. A certificate of permanent residency is issued, which grants the right to reside, but not work, in the Cayman Islands. Spouses and dependent children may also live in the islands under the permanent residency holder’s certificate, but they cannot work.

It is also possible to obtain a renewable Cayman residency certificate through property investment. To qualify, you must reside in the Cayman Islands for at least 30 days per year, be at least 18 years old, be in good health, have adequate insurance coverage, and have no serious criminal convictions.

Furthermore, you must have a continuous income of CI$120K/US$120K per year or a combination of investments and savings. The combination can be having CI$400K/US$488K in a Cayman Islands registered bank account and investing at least CI$500K/US$610K in developed real estate on the islands. You must also have other local investments, like shares in a local company or holding funds in a local bank account. The total investment in the Cayman Islands must be a minimum of CI$1M/US$1,22M. A 25-year renewable residency certificate is granted, allowing the right to reside, but not work, in the Cayman Islands.

Please contact our immigration lawyers in Cayman Islands for more details regarding the Cayman Islands residence permit requirements, including obtaining a work permit.

Can I obtain Cayman Island residency by passport?

You cannot obtain Cayman Islands residency by passport. Residency in the Cayman Islands must be obtained through one of the ways mentioned above. You must also fulfill additional requirements, such as living in the country for the majority of the last five years, not leaving the Islands for more than 90 days at a time, and having a clean immigration record. After establishing permanent residency and living in the Cayman Islands for five years, you become eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization.

Note that residency in the Cayman Islands does not automatically grant you a Caymanian passport. Permanent residency holders in the Cayman Islands can apply for a Caymanian passport, which is issued by the British Overseas Territory.

Feel free to contact our specialists for any problems regarding immigration to Cayman Islands.

What are an individual’s rights as a Cayman Islands resident?

As a permanent resident in the Cayman Islands, whether this is obtained through an investment, setting up a Cayman Islands company, or having acquired eight years of lawfully living in the country, an individual has certain rights:

  • accept employment from an employer of choice;
  • reside with other individuals who are expressly listed as his dependants;

The holder of such a permit may work, however, the Chief Immigration Officer can restrict the right to work. The spouse of a permanent resident in the Cayman Islands is entitled to work based on an individual application for a work permit that is processed separately. 

What are the obligations of an individual upon receiving the permanent residence certificate?

A permanent resident in the Cayman Islands is expected to do the following:

  • notify the Chief Immigration Officer of any changes in the number of dependants;
  • submit the annual statement containing the proof of payment for the annual fee (as per their occupation);
  • notify the Chief Immigration Officer of any changes regarding the owned property: the purchase of another property, the sale of the former (within 180 days of the sale);
  • notify the Chief Immigration Officer of any changes regarding employment.

The initial application for permanent residence is accompanied by a non-refundable fee and the applicant is also expected to pay an annual fee equivalent to that would be paid by an individual who was applying got a work permit for the same type of occupation. When the applicant has more than one occupation, the one with the highest fee will be paid.

Advantages of obtaining residency in Cayman Islands

There are a lot of advantages to applying for Cayman Islands residency. The country has gained a worldwide reputation as a leading financial center due to several contributing factors. These include the absence of any restriction on foreign land ownership, modern infrastructure, and quality education.

The country’s convenient location, with non-stop flights to major North American cities and a short flight to Miami, also makes it an attractive destination.

The Cayman Islands are tax-neutral, with no direct taxation on corporate, capital gains, personal income, or ongoing property taxes, which makes it a great place for investors looking to set up a Cayman Islands company.

The country boasts a stable, democratic government and is known for its high-quality shops, services, hotels, and restaurants, and a friendly, welcoming, and educated population.

The Cayman Islands residence permit offers easier entry for residents, with shorter waiting times. It is also worth mentioning permanent residency holders have the opportunity to obtain both UK and Caymanian passports. Citizenship and passport options can vary depending on individual circumstances, so we advise you to contact our specialist for more details.

Individuals who are interested in obtaining a residence permit can reach out to one of our agents for more information. The population statistics in the Islands are the following for 2017:

  • total number of individuals in George Town: 32,808;
  • individuals in Bodden Town: 13,081;
  • population in West Bay: 12,329;
  • total male and female individuals living in the Islands in 2017 (the three aforementioned regions plus three others): 63,415.

According to the Cayman Islands Government’s Compendium of Statistics for 2021, the population at the end of 2021 amounted to 71,105 individuals. Out of this total, the percentage of Caymanians was 53%. As was the case in 2017, the most densely populated area was George Town, with a total of 34,921 people living here. The other popular areas were:

  • West Bay, with 15,355 individuals;
  • Bodden Town, 14,845 persons and Sister Islands, 2,257;
  • As far as age groups were concerned, 13,429 inhabitants were aged between 40 and 49 years according to the 2021 statistics.

An annual economic report issued by the Economics and Statistics Office also highlights data on the labor force in the Cayman Islands. Our team summarizes some of the findings below:

  • The Caymanian population in 2022 was 38,724, which is a 1.8% increase compared to 2021 (38,047);
  • The permanent resident population amounted to 6,629 individuals and the non-Caymanian population to 36,193.
  • The working age population was 30,661 individuals, an increase of 1.9% compared to 2021 (when the total working population was 30,089);
  • The total number of employed individuals was 21,095 in 2022, which is a 4.7% increase compared to 2021;
  • The labor force participation rate was 71.4% in 2022.

For some investors, the decision to set up a Cayman Islands company can be the start of their relocation to the country or how they will continue to remain in the Islands for subsequent periods, for business purposes. If this is your goal, our company formation experts can help you open a company. We offer assistance with choosing the type of company as well as making the needed registrations.

Contact us for information about living and investing in the Islands as well as services related to Cayman Islands incorporation in 2024.